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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Why Should We Take Field Trips? (31 Days of Field Trips Series)

31 days of field trips1

What are the Benefits of Field Trips?

One of the major benefits of Homeschooling is the ability to provide more hands on/real life learning.  Field Trips is one of many ways to make this happen!

Field Trips really allow children to SEE the world from a wide variety of perspectives. There are so many learning opportunities afforded children on field trips that they may not otherwise experience. 

Being in a place previously learned about engages multiple aspects of the brain.  They are engaged in activities that involve walking, talking, seeing and listening.  They are now more able to EXPERIENCE what they are learning about.  Field Trips can appeal to all types of learners, kinesthetic, visual, and auditory.

My children always walk away from a field trip with more understanding, new insights, new ideas, new interests. It’s a win, win!

Field Trips can also be a time for children to spend time with other kids.  The dreaded socialization argument is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  But one thing I love about field trips is the fact that my kids are able to interact with a wide range of people (older and younger), many of which they have never met before.  I’ve always said that people who feel that Homeschoolers are ‘not socialized’ should attend a Homeschool Days event somewhere!  (It’s also a great way to meet other homeschool mom’s or dad’s and to learn from each other!).

I tried finding studies about field trips and their importance in learning, and while was able to find many articles that have researched and proved such, they were all in regards to classroom learning and field trips.  I am sure the benefits are much higher in those regards, and as homeschoolers many of us do not follow the typical ‘classroom learning regime’.  However, the thought also occurred to me that typically schools take 1-2 field trips a year (that’s it!) and the educational benefits were measurable….how much more measurable are the benefits in homeschooling?  Where we are able to take as many field trips as we see fit, and tailor our learning to be in step with those field trips (when we feel inspired to do so) and at the same time following the interests of our children! 

It really is an amazing opportunity to homeschool our kids, tailor their education and provide for them REAL LIFE learning and experiences!

I Don’t Have A Lot of Money to Spend on Field Trips

I know that money can sometimes be an issue when it comes to field trips, so that will be discussed more in detail during this series as well.  What kind of field trips, planning field trips, field trips near you (though, I am not able to cover every location; I will hit several states) will also be covered.

How Often Should I Take Field Trips?

This really is a personal preference.  I try to take a Field Trip once a week.  I consider a field trip day, a school day…but we also homeschool year round.  As we talk more about field trips, you will see that they don’t have to be huge expensive excursions.  They can be simple, inexpensive….and even in your own yard!  For some field trips come quite naturally, for others they have difficulty working them in. 

The purpose of this series is to help give you the tools to work field trips in as part of your curriculum.  Field Trips can cover a wide array of subjects (History, Science, PE, Art and more).  You can turn them into unit studies, use them as supplements/enhancements to core curriculum, or have them just for fun! 

The point of field trips is to have hand on, life and world experiences to further enhance learning and spark interests.  The more they see and experience, the more they will know and the wider their interests will be.

 

31 days of field tripsWoman lying on grass
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